The West Coast Currently Has the World’s Worst Air Quality

Wildfires have dramatically increased air pollution from San Francisco to Vancouver.

The sky over San Francisco was orange from smoke on September 10.Wu Xiaoling/Xinhua/Zuma

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The cities that currently have the worst air quality anywhere in the world are all located along North America’s West Coast, where rampant wildfires have burned more than 4.3 million acres and have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Thanks to the fires, Portland, Oregon, currently has the world’s most polluted air, according to IQ Air, which monitors air quality around the world. Portland is followed by Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia; and San Francisco. Just in case you needed another reason to wear a mask.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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